In a recent publication of The International Journal of Eating Disorders, Professor Kelly Klump explored the relationship between the menstrual cycle and hunger. During ovulation, few women experienced binge eating. The period after ovulation until menstruation turned out to be the period when many women lost control of their eating behavior. As menstruation got closer, this feeling became stronger and stronger. This feeling of hunger disappeared from the day of menstruation. The researcher found that some female mammals can have exactly the same pattern. So insatiable hunger during this period has not only to do with our society but also with your hormones.

The menstrual cycle consists of the follicular phase (pre-ovulation) and the luteal phase (post-ovulation). The follicular phase is characterized by a low level of progesterone and a brief rise and fall of estrogen. The luteal phase shows rising estrogen and progesterone, with a decrease of both hormones before menstruation due to the lack of a fertilized egg.

During the menstrual cycle, the body is engaged in energetic processes such as ovulation and the building of the endometrium to receive a fertilized egg. Sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone appear to play a role in energy metabolism, insulin sensitivity and the way glucose is processed in the body. In general, estrogen appears to promote insulin sensitivity and progesterone promotes insulin resistance.

Luteal (post-ovulation) glucose concentrations have been shown to be significantly higher than in the follicular phase.

Given the relative insulin resistance during the luteal phase (post-ovulation), it may be prudent to lower glucose (and therefore insulin) stimulant foods during this time to minimize the glycemic impact in this phase.
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